Swamped: Emergency department crowding and patient mortality

from Journal of Health Economics at http://bit.ly/2EZnyjB on December 29, 2019 at 01:48PM

Publication date: Available online 28 December 2019

Source: Journal of Health Economics

Author(s): Lindsey Woodworth


U.S. emergency departments are experiencing extreme levels of crowding. This study estimates the impact of emergency department crowding on patient mortality. Identification relies on the abrupt crowding shocks felt by “old” emergency departments at the time a new emergency department opens nearby. Using death records linked to hospital administrative records, I find that a 10 % alleviation of emergency department patient volume significantly lowers the average patient’s chance of mortality. Improvements appear to be realized both inside the hospital and after the patient has left.